Tips & Ideas for Your
Outdoor Kitchen Plan

I'm sure you've got BIG ideas for your outdoor kitchen plan. After all, summertime has always been about backyard barbeques, pool parties and sunset cocktails in the warm evening so, why not upgrade your outdoor living space for some primo entertaining and relaxing ...

Everyone else is! It’s the second most popular remodeling project after indoor kitchens.

Of course, your countertop will be a centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.

Choosing the right countertop will ensure years of enjoyment, admiration and minimal maintenance.

Take a look at the helpful hints below for what your best options are and get a head full of tips on building outdoor kitchens.

outdoor kitchen barbeque grill and bar

Choosing Countertops For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Choosing the right counter top is but one of many details you must consider with your outdoor kitchen plan. Of course the most important factor is exposure to all the elements. You’ll want a countertop that is easy to use and clean and will last and last without looking shabby.

That’s why a granite counter top is the best choice. You can get the same quality and luxury as inside the home with nature’s most durable surface.

With easy up-keep, granite countertops are the perfect choice for your outdoor kitchen plan.

If you live in a HOT climate, then providing for shade is a no-brainer, but especially important with granite countertops... you could fry an egg on granite (or any stone, cement, porcelain or ceramic surface) if exposed to direct sunlight for several hours.

Other options include a slate, or a soapstone counter top and concrete countertops which are very durable and can be molded to any shape with a wide variety of color options.

NOTE: Since concrete countertops are colored using dyes, they are prone to discolor and turn yellow (like quartz-see next) when exposed to outdoor weather.

Blues, blacks and other dark or vibrant colors are the most susceptible to yellowing. (Some lightening of the color is normal--indoors and outdoors--over the first 6 months or so as the concrete cures.)

Stick to lighter earth tones and seal the concrete often to avoid excessive fading and color shifting.

Quartz counter tops made by Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria and other manufacturers are NOT recommended.

For indoor installations, granite and quartz countertops have very similar performance characteristics.

Not so outside where exposure to the elements will cause the top coat coloring resin on man-made quartz counter tops to discolor often turning yellow.

Because of this problem, quartz manufacturers will not warranty their product for outdoor installations.

Outdoor Kitchen Set Up

Basics. You can impress your guests and grill up some tasty BBQ with this secret sauce on any charcoal or gas grill.

But to truly bring your kitchen outdoors your set-up will include a built-in BBQ, sink, refrigerator, outdoor kitchen cabinets and cozy outdoor furniture or bar stools for yourself and all your guests to kick back.

The Grills on the market today offer such a broad range of bells and whistles that you need to spend some time deciding what you must have... and what you're not willing to pay for.

Grills come in a wide range of sizes with cooking areas from 24 to 48 inches wide and 15 to 25 inches deep. Both free-standing and built-in models are available.

For the traditionalist, charcoal grills go for about $100 to $600 with some including shelves and storage.

Gas grills offer more cooking power and greater temperature control with more features such as separate burners and rotisseries. They cost more too at $300 to $8000!

The grill is the cornerstone of your design, so the barbeque grill you choose will influence the construction and configuration of the rest of your outdoor kitchen design and cooking area. So take your time picking out the one that will work best suit your needs and plans.

Additional luxuries to include in your outdoor kitchen plan are:

  • pergola for shade
  • space for mixing/serving drinks
  • a stereo system
  • ceiling fans
  • misters
  • a gas patio heater
  • fireplace/fire pit
  • specialty lighting

And anything else you can think of... with the surge in demand for outdoor entertaining, any gadget normally found inside your kitchen or home is now made for outdoor use as well.

Continue on to Building Outdoor Kitchens for more on location, comfort, utilities and permits ...

Have a QUESTION about building an Outdoor Kitchen? Click here for answers.

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